Skip to Content

RPD educates public on how to avoid scams

ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -- Staying vigilant against scammers is the motivation behind an effort by Rochester police to educate the public about the more recent scams the department has dealt with.

Despite what you might think, people 18 to 24 years old fall victim to scammers more than any other age group. But it's important for people of all ages to stay alert. RPD spoke at the Shorewood Senior Campus Tuesday and shared a few tips.

"I think it's extremely valuable to have this kind of presentation on a regular basis because of the new things that are coming out," said attendee Ruth Lincoln.

RPD Advanced Crime Prevention Specialist Darrel Hildebrant says, "Don't answer the phone if you don't recognize who it is." Instead, you should just let the call go to voicemail. If it's something important, the caller will usually leave a message. Otherwise, a scammer will just hang up.

One big red flag of a scam is if someone asks for payments in gift cards. "Right up front, it's a scam," said Hildebrant. "Because then they are going to ask for the numbers on the back of them. The other one is anything unsolicited. You did not ask for your roof to be fixed. I did not ask for something to be done or a service."

Police say you should change your computer password three to four times a year and avoid putting a lot of personal information on social networks.

And when it comes to debit and credit card safety, they now say you should have a wallet or purse lined with RFID blocking technology. "The thing is, that somebody can have a scanner and walk right by you and pick up all of your personal information that's on that card," said Hildebrant. "They do have billfolds and purses that are metal lined, they now have briefcases that are metal lined also."

Should you notice any odd activity on your cards, here's what you should do: "If it's a credit card, contact the credit card company immediately," said Hildebrant. "Debit card, contact the bank immediately and then file police reports. And then when you file the police report, get the officer's business card and the incident number."

Hildebrant does talks like this each week for various groups and they are open to the public. If you are interested in attending one of the presentations call 507-328-6890 or click here for additional resources.

Sarah Gannon

Skip to content